At least 10 people were said to have been killed by generator fume at Umuonumu Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, while two were in coma in the hospital.
The deceased are three children, among them a set of twins, and seven others, comprising men and women. They were all said to have died after inhaling generator fume.
A community leader, Chief Martins Ezurike, said: “The traditional wedding ceremony of Raymond Uzoegbu’s daughter, Favour, was held in their compound on June 9, 2019.
The in-laws came from Anambra State and the celebration lasted till evening. After the wedding, more than 20 persons slept in the Uzoegbu building.
The generator, which they were using during the ceremony, was kept somewhere inside the building. While sleeping, over 20 of them were exposed to the generator fume for close to 12 hours, leading to death of some.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident.
He said: “About 8a.m. on Monday, Herbert Uzoegbu, brother to Raymond Uzoegbu, reported that he went to check on his brother about 7a.m and realised that their door was still locked.
There was no response to his calls. The only sound was that of the generator. It was when they broke into the house that they discovered that everyone in the house was unconscious.”
Ikeokwu said that six persons were already dead and 23 were unconscious by the time police evacuation team got to the scene. Some of the affected persons were rushed to an undisclosed hospital at Nwaorieubi and others to Ikeduru Hospital.
At Ikeduru Hospital, managed by Imo International Health System, the administrator of the facility, Dr. Austin Agbahiwe, disclosed that three of the victims were brought in dead, while 17 others were receiving treatment.
He said: “They were brought in about 8a.m. We had to leave every other thing to attend to them. Three of them were brought in dead, while we are trying to stabilise other 17 patients. I believe the 17 others will live. We had a similar incident about a fortnight ago; but this was a case of vehicle exhaust fume choking about 25 passengers. The 25 were brought in unconscious, but all of them survived due to timely intervention.”
One other person is believed to have also passed on while two other affected persons were said to be in coma.
The groom and bridegroom survived the tragedy as they left Imo State shortly after the traditional wedding on Sunday.
Meanwhile, there have been different versions of the incident in town. While some believe the wedding cake and food might have been poisoned, others insisted it was a voodoo attack.
The building, where the tragedy occurred, has since been deserted with villagers carefully keeping their distance, for fear of the unknown. Most locals said they preferred to trek a longer distance to walking past the Uzoegbu “House of Horror”.